David Lerner Associates: Women and Money - The Financial Gender Gap
The World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap report show that women are worse off this year – the pay gap in the U.S. is now at 64 percent, down from 66 percent a year ago. That means that American women earn two-thirds of what a man does for the same work.
This is not the only financial gap women experience:
The price of products
The New York City Department of Consumer Affairs (NYDCA) recently released a well-researched report documenting similar products having different prices based on the target customer’s gender. Across a variety of industries, companies are charging women more than men.
- 7 percent more for toys and accessories
- 4 percent more for children’s clothing
- 8 percent more for adult clothing
- 13 percent more for personal care products
- 8 percent more for senior/home health care products
These small percentages may not seem like much, but when taken over the course of a woman’s life, the financial impact of these gender-based pricing disparities is significant. Women are paying thousands of dollars more over the course of their lives to purchase similar products as men.
Women pay a half-point higher interest rate on credit cards than men do, according to a FINRA study. Over a lifetime, this could add up to thousands of more dollars spent by women in interest charges than is spent by men. 
Women were also more likely to:
- carry a credit card balance
- make only the minimum payment
- be charged a late fee
All of this adds up over time and contributes to the financial gender gap women experience in the U.S. The solution appears to be financial literacy and disciplined fiscal behavior, so that your credit score remains high.
What you can do to improve your credit score
Pay down debt. This is the fastest way to raise your credit score. Rather than have debt and a savings account, use the savings to pay down the debt. If you have an emergency, use the card.
Make all payments on time: Your payment history makes up 35 percent of your credit score. If your life is chaotic and you're at risk of paying late, set up auto payments. Just make sure that there will be funds in the bank to cover the payment, or you will make the situation worse.
Keep your credit ratio low. Keep the amount of debt you have low compared to the credit available to you. Aim to use no more than ten percent of your credit card limits.
By increasing your financial knowledge and taking control of your financial life, you can diminish the effects of the financial gender gap.
Material contained in this article is provided for information purposes only and is not intended to be used in connection with the evaluation of any investments offered by David Lerner Associates, Inc. This material does not constitute an offer or recommendation to buy or sell securities and should not be considered in connection with the purchase or sale of securities.
To the extent that this material concerns tax matters, it is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, by a taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed by law.
Each taxpayer should seek independent advice from a tax professional based on his or her individual circumstances.
These materials are provided for general information and educational purposes based upon publicly available information from sources believed to be reliable-- we cannot assure the accuracy or completeness of these materials. The information in these materials may change at any time and without notice.
David Lerner Associates does not provide tax or legal advice. The information presented here is not specific to any individual's personal circumstances.
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Founded in 1976, David Lerner Associates is a privately-held broker/dealer with headquarters in Syosset, New York and branch offices in Westport, CT; Boca Raton, FL; Teaneck and Princeton, NJ; and White Plains, NY. For more information contact David Lerner Associates Call 516-921-4200 Visit our website: www.davidlerner.com
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